The Lakers are one of two winless teams remaining in the NBA, and frankly, few predicted that they would have this much in common with the Orlando Magic at this point in the season.
But a four-game losing streak isn’t out of the ordinary. There were 86 instances of teams losing at least four consecutive games in the 2021-22 season, involving 25 of the league’s teams. To put that another way, 11 of the 16 playoffs teams lost four games in a row at one point or another.
It sucks for the Lakers to kick off their season on such a low note, and it doesn’t bode well for their chances of hanging banner no. 18, but this slow start doesn’t necessarily mean all hope is lost. In fact, Anthony Davis believes it’s much better that the Lakers experience this type of adversity to begin the season than it would be to go through a similar losing streak later in the year, as he said during the team’s last practice (via Spectrum SportsNet):
“We gotta stay even-keeled, we can’t get rattled or flustered and things like that, just like if we win 12 in a row, you don’t want to get too hot. We think all this adversity is gonna be good for us. I mean, we’re glad it’s happening in October and not March and April.”
"Our mindset is getting our first win." - Anthony Davis remains positive as the Lakers head to Denver for a tough road test. pic.twitter.com/VfGRpZmmKM— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) October 26, 2022
Davis has the right idea about staying even-keeled because highs and lows are inevitable. Winning 12 games in a row is a bit of a stretch — only one team in the NBA managed that last year, and the Lakers don’t appear to be on the level of the 2021-22 Phoenix Suns — but Davis is prone to that kind of hyperbole. The point is, losses are going to happen, and it’s better to at least have time to recover.
Darvin Ham echoed those sentiments after the loss to Denver Wednesday.
“We’re four games in, it sucks to lose. But having 78 games left is plenty of time for us to right the ship, and it starts now.”
Think back to 2020-21 when the Lakers got off to a raucous 21-6 start to the season but then whimpered to the finish line — what happened at the end of the year certainly left a stronger impression than any of the wins to start. The Lakers have a similar opportunity to change their fortunes as much as they did that season, for the better. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the Lakers are struggling with a healthy LeBron James and AD, but incremental progress has been made, and it’s not unreasonable that things could click all of a sudden.
For now, like Ham said, this current state of affairs sucks. Hopefully, the Lakers can leave this level of losing in October.
For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Sabreena on Twitter at @sabreenajm.